Migrant workers likely to use convenience stores for remittances

11/20/2018 04:07 PM
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Wellington Koo (顧立雄)
Wellington Koo (顧立雄)

Taipei, Nov. 20 (CNA) The Financial Supervisory Commission (FSC), Taiwan's financial regulator, is studying the feasibility of migrant workers using convenience stores to remit their wages back to their hometowns.

FSC Chairman Wellington Koo (顧立雄) said the FSC is considering the idea of non-financial institutions serving as channels for cash remittances under the current regulatory sandbox mechanism.

Taiwan enacted the Financial Technology Innovation and Experiment Act, commonly known as the Financial Regulatory Sandbox, on April 30 as part of efforts to establish an experimental environment for financial technology start-ups and to use technology to create innovative financial products and service.

The regulatory sandbox mechanism provides a space for financial technology firms and financial institutions to test innovative products and services without fear of triggering possible regulatory consequences.

If the proposal to allow migrant workers to use convenience stores as a channel for remitting money is approved, it will be the second example of such a "sandbox" being put into practice.

The FSC issued a green light in September to KGI Bank and Chunghwa Telecom Co. for the bank to provide small loans to the telecom operator's customers.

Under the arrangement, Chunghwa Telecom smartphone subscribers are able to apply for loans from KGI through their smartphone, and KGI is able to use subscription data provided by the telecom operator to identify the loan applicant and issue the loans.

Similar to the KGI Bank-Chunghwa Telecom loans, remittances made through convenience stores by migrant workers would be limited to small amounts, Koo said.

Migrant workers will also have to designate recipients of the remittances, such as their family members, he said.

Koo argued that the service could be helpful to migrant workers who often cannot remit money home through banks because they work during banks' normal business hours.

Many migrant workers in Taiwan tend to use U.S.-based Western Union Quick Cash as a channel for money remittances.

Western Union Quick Cash works with banks around the world to allow its customers to send money to their recipients in one day without the need for the senders to open a bank account.

Using convenience stores as a fund remittance channel would give migrant workers another option, Koo said.

(By Chiu Po-sheng and Frances Huang)


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